Blackjack, Tournament Blackjack, or Elimination Blackjack
is a tournament format of blackjack invented by Russ Hamilton, and is played on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour and in various casinos. It combines the game of blackjack with elements of No Limit Texas Hold'Em.
UltimateBet.com, a sponsor of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour, offers online elimination blackjack tournaments.
A round of Elimination Blackjack in most cases is thirty hands in
length. Depending upon the organization hosting the event, a player will start with between $10,000 and $100,000 worth of
chips. While certain organizations have their own house rules, Elimination Blackjack usually follows the following rules:
- The house must hit on soft 17 and anything below, and must stay on
hard 17 and anything above.
- A player may split pairs up to four times (with the exceptions of
- A shoe of six decks is used.
- A player's bet must stay within the minimum and maximum bet allowed
at the table (this rule is excluded in the World Series of Blackjack).
- A player may surrender their hand, and recover one half of their
- A player may buy insurance if the up card for the house is an ace.
- A player can only double down with two cards.
- A max of seven players is allowed per table.
- A player has twenty five seconds in a normal hand to make a decision.
In an "elimination hand" a player has forty five seconds.
Some organizations allow a "Secret Bet" where the players at the table
do not know the value of that player's bet, until after that player's hand is concluded. In most organzations, this option
can be used only once during any round of the tournament.
Depending on the organization hosting the event, a player is eliminated
from the tournament in three ways:
- Losing all of his or her chips.
- Not having enough chips to meet the minimum required bet.
- Being the player with the fewest chips after a certain number of
hands are played. In this case, the usual cutoff points are hands #8, #16, and #25 (called "elimination hands").
A player is ALWAYS eliminated from the game in an "elimination hand"
even if a player has been eliminated in the previous hand.
Usually the last player left at the table
is the winner, or the player with the most chips after 30 hands have been played.